Wednesday, March 24, 2010

earth hour activities for children

On Saturday 27 March at 8.30pm Earth Hour organisers have asked us to turn off all our lights for an hour as a vote for our planet against global warming. 

Our primary children made these beautiful lanterns in preparation for the event:

Doing something fun for or during Earth Hour not only engages young children - it helps them to look forward to the event each year by making it something a bit special.

Leading up to Earth Hour

1.  Lovely Tea Light Holders from The Crafty Crow

2.  Earth Hour Lantern Project - a PDF with template and instructions.  
3.  Virtual lantern making on the Earth Hour Website

6. Balloon lanterns from Kleas glue water tissue paper balloons

When the lights go out

Young kids may be asleep by the 8.30pm official Earth Hour, so why not move it forward so the whole family can enjoy making it a special event.  

  1. Play some board games by candle light.  Lets face it, doing anything by candlelight is a bit special!

  2. Go outside and do a spot of star gazing.  With all non essential lights out, the kids will be able to see    more from their backyard than they could before. 

  3. Have a sleepover in the living room.  Grab some torches, sleeping bags and snacks and settle in for some storytelling before bed.  

  4. If you live in my neck of the woods you could probably still play outside.  Take out some torches and look for possums; play some nighttime ball games with a glow-in-the-dark ball.

  5. Go for a walk around the neighborhood.

  6. Set up a shadow puppet theatre in your living room.
Places to go

The Earth Hour Website has a state by state list of special Earth Hour events in your area.  Or why not just pack a picnic and pick a spot with a good vantage point to watch the lights go out in your city?  Some of my favorite picks for Sydney are:

  1. A peaceful afternoon on The Goat Island Harbour National Park, with a front-row view of the Harbour Bridge for when the lights go out at 8.30 PM.
  2. A picnic at Balmoral Beach
  3. Climate change shindig at Avalon Beach, complete with lantern making, entertainment and mural painting. 
Do you do anything with your kids for Earth Hour?  I'd love to hear your ideas.


  1. I might add playing with glowsticks or even sparklers.
    It is so much fun for preschoolers to play in the dark. It is always one of the great things about camping and so it is fun to bring it home for a night.

  2. ooh, i'd forgotten about glow sticks and sparklers. i still remember running around playing in the dark when i was a kid - soooo exciting!

  3. we had an earth hour party a couple of years ago. the kids were thrilled with every light in the house being turned off. then they seemed to equate it with new years eve, so at 8:30, there was pot and pan baging on the front porch. : )

  4. Transforming jars into beautiful candle holders, using glue and tissue paper is an oldie but a goodie when it comes to an older toddler friendly craft activity.

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  5. can i repost or link up to this post from my blog! i love your suggestions and this is really the first time earth hour is getting any publicity in my neck of the woods--eastern usa!

  6. danita - absolutely :) And thanks for your ideas everyone.

  7. I'm ashamed to admit that I've never heard of Earth Hour. We're just going to have to schedule our own Earth Hour.

  8. I had never heard of Earth Hour. Thanks you so much for sharing. I look forward to implementing some of your suggestions. Great post!

  9. We made the balloon lanterns before but not for Earth Hour...what a great idea. I shared this post on my Naturally Educational facebook page. Thanks for the fun suggestions!

  10. Thanks everyone for the comments. Earth Hour originated in Australia about 4 years ago I think, and it has really taken off here.

    I'll look up your Naturally Educational facebook page - sounds interesting.

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